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Mc Kim

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November 30, 2010
HIS 263: Revisiting Confederation
I. Resistance in the Maritimes
Support for Confederation strongest in Canada West and weakened the further east one
The achievement of British North American Union involved significant development
related to terminology-Canada West renamed Ontario and Canada East Quebec
oThe term they settled on for Canada wasdominion”
oOne hypothesis-one of the key fathers of Confederation, Samuel Leonard Tilley,
came across the 72nd Psalm in his Bible-talks about God having dominion from
sea to sea-he identifies this as an appropriate term
oTerminology speaks to the deep religious conviction of authorities like Tilley
oHas an important constitutional significance-dominion is suitable because Canada
was NOT an independent country legally. Great Britain remained in control of
Canadas external affairs. Not recognized as an independent country until the early
Resistance to Confederation was both long-standing and widespread-i.e. vocal opponents
of Confederation before and after 1867
Resistance to Confederation in Nova Scotia was strong
oGreat critic was Joseph Howe. His opponent was Charles Tupper
Tupper felt that Confederation would be beneficial in Nova Scotia. Felt
that an inter-colonial railway would attach the Maritimes to the larger
markets. Recognized that as a result of Joseph Howes anti-Confederation
arguments there was considerable opposition
Tupper decides to hold a vote on whether Confederation should be adopted
Tupper forces a vote and prevents a meaningful debate over Confederation
from taking place
As a result of this vote, Confederation was ratified. Representatives from
the provincial legislature agreed to accept it
oNova Scotia was dragged into Confederation
oAll but one of the seats in Nova Scotia go to anti-Confederation
oTwo categories- 1.) people who wanted to maintain Nova Scotias historical links
to Britain 2.) advocated closer ties to the U.S.
In both cases, Confederation is viewed as a threat to what these people
oBetween 1855 and 1866, a reciprocity agreement (mutual lowering of tariff
barriers) existed between the various BNA colonies and the U.S.
As a result of this agreement, there is an intensification of trade between
North America and the U.S.
In 1866, the U.S. elects to cancel the agreement-they do this because
relations between Great Britain and the U.S had deteriorated in the era of
the U.S. Civil War-as a result, the U.S. arguably sought to punish Britain-
the U.S. moves toward protectionism-involves using the power of the state
to apply taxes against the goods of foreign competitors, thus inflating the
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